I have today off – weird, no idea what to do other than read, but finding a good place to read is not that easy. Room is large, but little natural light. Outside too hot (and I find I have no suntan oil), so may have to use one of the many nice sofa areas, which no one ever uses. I could also try using the PC, have also found one of the Axon guys has all 15 episodes of the first series of Desperate Housewives on a hard drive, but I think he has hired a car and gone out…..
Had a 40mins telephone conversation with Steve this morning, all over the Internet (we could hear each other and talk to each, no time delays and no cost and PRIVATE). Brilliant; wish I’d found it earlier. www.skype.com
Last night a few of us went to one of the Axon people’s houses for supper. I even got a taxi there, but a bit taken aback when the driver seemed to think I knew where I was going and asked directions. House a bit like West Africa – stone floors, security grills everywhere and an guarded entrance to drive to it and other houses on a small “estate”. Supper itself very nice. Tom, the Axon guy, had both Fri & Sat off, after working 7 weeks non-stop and long hours each day. Said he’d done very little except doze and go to the supermarket, but he looked loads better.
I have found a niche market here which could earn someone mega bucks. There are few barbers around and two lads who went recently both came back with Graham style haircuts, ie number 1 settings, which was not what they wanted. Then one of the others heard that the US Embassy flies in a barber once a month, so he booked an apointment three weeks ago. He came back (lousy haircut, looked better when it was longer) and announced it had cost him 80 dollars. Looks it, said someone, thinking he meant Jamaican dollars which would make it roughly 80p; no he meant US dollars!!!! Meena (girl) has been out here since October and has rather longer hair than I recall her having before. It’s strange because many of the Jamaicans have good haircuts, but perhaps the locals take colonial revenge on Brits hair…
The news from Jamaica is as was expected; Rosemary will not be coming back this week. She is to stay on in Jamaica for another 8 days.
At least she managed to get a good meal on her birthday; this is her report of the meal.
Had a v expensive meal 30 pounds but do not believe I had my value in alcohol – 4 bottles of Red Stripe (Jamaican) lager and one glass of EXTREMELY expensive, but not that good, white. But we had it in a roof-top restaurant so quite fun. In fact some of the pix will be quite naughty. Left disposable behind when we moved on to the Hilton for a last drink – but two of them went back & got it for me.
Today I met up with Ravi Kanbur and Simon Potter at the Baron of Beef in Cambridge for a beer and lunch.
Afterwards we had a wonder around Caius college, sat in the Junior Combination Room and read the papers. Next a
quick tour of Clare college and then on to Harvey court. Here we had a quick wonder around the student bar, and saw the progress of the new extension being built to the Caius college.
Then on to the Sedgwick site to see the new buildings. I then persuaded Ravi and Simon to take a look at the new Mathematics buildings. These are pagoda shaped buildings surrounding a courtyard and a Tele Tubbies style building housing the canteen and coffee rooms. Luckily there was a maths demonstration in progress for school age children, so we were able to enter the building and wander around.
It’s Saturday morning and here I amin the office in Jamaica, but at leastwith a viewoverlooking Kingston through thebougainvillea which surroundsthebuilding on all floors.Having said that it is mega humid but overcast and rained yesterday. Not exactly like Bletchley, except for the rain. The flowers are fabulous, bird life sparse (but it is a city), few cute cats andseveral mangy looking dogs(apparently at night they race around in packs but I never hear them above the noise of the AC unit)andthe oddgoats andI did seetwo delightful skinny, black pigs (their ribs are very good).
Food is plentiful and cheap, especially in the canteen – loads of rice and peas (iekidney peas) and v spicy, either bits of chicken with bonesor whole fish with a zillion bones.Some pork ribs, but basically American. Good salads, but it takes ages to be served even when you are being served; several ladies each of whom must add something to your plate. I want to find a supermarket and have a look around. Loads of food selling street vendors. The guys are offered ganja and women– Stevewould love it.
Roads are not well maintained to say the least, seldom lit and ill marked and many cars have very dim headlights and of course it gets pitch black at 18:15 or so promptly – no dusk – all ofwhich makes for interesting road journeys. Everyone is concerned aboutlone females walking,and insists you take taxis.
As from tonight, I’m the only person on my project staying inmy hotel, which should be jolly (NOT). Breakfast at 06:30 normally and then en masse walk to the office. Not sure what I shall do about that next week. Taxis seem to me ridiculous, but on the other hand I don’t really want to lose the laptop. Part of the walk is across a v well maintained park, with lovely flowers, most of which I vaguely recognize but can’t name. Fabulous colours.
Went to the warehouse on Thursday – good view across the huge natural harbour.